Molecular Epigenetics, Chromatin, and NeuroAIDS/HIV: Immuno-pathological Implications



Francesco Chiappelli1, *, Paul Shapshak2, Deborah Commins3, Elyse Singer4, Alireza Minagar5, Oluwadayo Oluwadara1, 6, Paolo Prolo7 and Andras J. Pellionisz8



1Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA 90095; 2Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, Departments of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, University of South Florida Health, Tampa, FL 33606; 3Department of Pathology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90089; 4Department of Neurology and National Neurological AIDS Bank, UCLA School of Medicine and Veterans Administration, Westwood, CA 90024;5Departments of Neurology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130; 6Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; 7Dipartimento della sanitÓ e della socialitÓ del Canton Ticino, Bellinzona, CH; 8Helixometry, 935 Rosette Court, Sunnyvale, CA 94086


Email; * Corresponding Author



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Article Type

Current Trends



received August 28, 2008; accepted September 13, 2008; published October 07, 2008


Epigenetics studies factors related to the organism and environment that modulate inheritance from generation to generation. Molecular epigenetics examines non-coding DNA (ncdDNA) vs. coding DNA (cdDNA), and pertains to every domain of physiology, including immune and brain function.  Molecular cartography, including genomics, proteomics, and interactomics, seeks to recognize and to identify the multi-faceted and intricate array of interacting genes and gene products that characterize the function and specialization of each individual cell in the context of cell-cell interaction, tissue, and organ function.  Molecular cartography, epigenetics, and chromatin assembly, repair and remodeling (CARR), which, together with the RNA interfering signaling complex (RISC), is responsible for much of the control and regulation of gene expression, intersect. 


We describe current and ongoing studies aimed to apply these overlapping areas of research, CARR and RISC, to a novel understanding of the immuno-neuropathology of HIV-1 infection, as an example. Taken together, the arguments presented here lead to a novel working hypothesis of molecular immune epigenetics as it pertains to HIV/AIDS, and the immunopathology of HIV-1-infected CD4+ cells. Specifically, we discuss these views in the context of the structure-function relationship of chromatin, the cdDNA/ncdDNA ratio, and possible nucleotide divergence in the untranslated regions (UTRs) of mature mRNA intronic and intergenic DNA sequences, and putative catastrophic consequences for immune surveillance and the preservation of health in HIV/AIDS. Here, we discuss the immunopathology of HIV Infection, with emphasis on CARR in cellular, humoral and molecular immune epigenetics.



epigenetics; hologenomics; coding and noncoding DNA; human T cells; Tregs; HIV-1; AIDS; neuroAIDS; immunopathology; translational evidence-based decision-making



Chiappelli et al., Bioinformation 3(1): 47-52 (2008)


Edited by

P. Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics




This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.